“This is Lufthansa.”
“Oh, wow. I’ve been waiting to talk to you. I’m so happy to hear from you. I have so many questions.”
“We found your passport. It’s in a Lost & Found warehouse in Frankfurt.”
“You’re kidding. Wow. That’s great. Can I have it back?”
“Yes, I’m working with my contact there to have it mailed back to you. Did you have a little black book with it? With Hebrew letters and handwritten notes?”
“Yes. Absolutely. That’s mine.”
She confirmed my mailing address. I was anxious to ask her other questions. It was weird to hear that my passport actually existed somewhere. In a warehouse. Someone really had picked it up. The flight attentants were telling the truth.
I have a sticky note on my desk that says, “It was just 5 days,” to remind me that what I went through wasn’t a big deal. When I start to beat myself up for being so stupid, for wasting an opportunity or when I start to feel like I was somehow wronged, I look at that note as a reminder to get over myself. It wasn’t that big a deal. But sometimes it seems like it was just a dream. I have no proof, no documentation that I was really there. I was in Tel Aviv. I was held.
When I heard the woman on the other line say, “We have your passport,” it was a little…..I don’t know…..validation, I guess that it had really happened.
I asked her about the notes made on my file. She said she didn’t have access to that. I asked her how Lufthansa could change my flights without my permission. “You didn’t have proper documentation,” she said. “They probably wanted to get you home as quickly and safely as possible.” Fair enough.
She sent me an e-mail with her name and contact information. I opened the e-mail and the notes were all there.
According to our records you traveled as follows:
- LH8708 from Lafayette to Houston on September 17, 2014
- LH 9241 from Houston to Munich on September 17, 2014
- LH 688 from Munich to Tel Aviv on September 18, 2014
- LH 681 from Tel Aviv to Munich on September 20, 2014
- LH 7902 from Munich to Houston on September 20, 2014 (operated by United Airlines)
On September 17, it was noted that your friend Lisa was looking for information on your whereabouts. Our call center did not have any information available for your friend at that time.
After September 22, 2014, our call center received calls from you advising that you had dropped your passport in the tarmac in Munich while boarding your flight to Tel Aviv.
You stated that upon arrival in Tel Aviv you were denied entry into the country, detained for two days and sent back to Houston as detailed above. You also expressed disappointment having been detained.
We hope the information provided is of help to you.
We certainly regret the unfortunate circumstances detailed and sympathize with your situation; in demonstration of goodwill, under separate cover, you will receive a 20% savings certificate for two passengers applicable for future travel on Lufthansa. Kindly note the terms and conditions outlined on the certificate.
With kind regards, (name withheld)
There they were. There were the notes. Besides some pictures of red tags with Hebrew on them, this is the only proof I have that this actually happened. I don’t know why that’s important to me, but it is.
Hopefully, I’ll get my passport back. I don’t know when I will ever have the opportunity or money to travel again. For now, it goes back on the wish list. One day, I’d like to try to go again. One day I want to see Jerusalem.